This is Ra, a wild tame Red-and-Green Macaw and also our friend.
One of the great benefits of working and living in the interior is that you also get to know the wildlife up close and personal. Sometimes too personal. Usually I try to keep my distance just to give the animals some space to live undisturbed. But on this occasion I was allowed a rare glance into an Ara's magnificent life.
October 13, 2016. I usually spend my free time at the River Cabin, a place where I try to spot some birds. On this day I spotted a small group of Red-and-Green Macaws hanging around in the neighborhood. Usually they are quite cautious and fly away immediately when they spot you. When I approached this pair of Macaws I also noticed that the bird on the left was a bit weaker compared with the one on the right side. During that time food was scarce so only the strongest were able to sit up straight. I didn't paid much attention to this Macaw as I know that the family usually takes care of each other.
October 25, 2016. Here you see the same Ara in a box. We found him barely hanging onto a branch. It was so weak that it couldn't fly anymore and climbing into a tree was a daunting task too. The others from the group were seen in the top of the trees but couldn't do much to help. We took him home in a box and as you can clearly see, it was both hungry and frightened.
After being fed with porridge this Ara looked a bit as recovered but still afraid of the strangers that took him away from his family. As he was still to weak to fly away immediately we kept him for a week to recover. But like any Ara in the wild, this one started to feel lonely without his companions and his freedom.
November 6, 2016. This is the day that we released him as we couldn't bare it anymore to see him feeling lonely. We thought that it was the end of seeing this Ara. We were so wrong. The same day he was calling for his porridge. And since we couldn't deny his cry for his porridge we made sure he got his food, even if it meant climbing into trees to reach him.
Ara's and Parrots are fast learners and one of the cleverest birds I ever met. After a couple of days of calling, he associated the calling with food and quality time. Here you see him coming for his porridge.
This is the same Ara we found on October 2016. Quite a difference. Since he was a young Macaw when we rescued him (about 14 months old) we were able to witness how he slowly matured into a young adult. With the extra care and food he also became one of the strongest Ara's in the neighborhood. After a couple of months he was reunited with his old group and even found a partner. Ara's and Parrots are quite smart animals and also very grateful.
Here you can see that he enjoys my company and likes the extra attention too. Somehow he managed to balance his own life with his Ara family and with us.
Like I said before he is a grateful Macaw and still remembers the day we rescued him from near starvation. Here he was teasing Jerry or the other way around.
So, yes, this is an extraordinary friendship. One that started since October 25, 2016.
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